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Haleakalā Milky Way
Haleakalā Milky Way

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2016-03 (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 G ED
Location: Haleakalā, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Date: Mar 6, 2016
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 4000
Shutter: 20 Seconds
Date Uploaded: Mar 28, 2016

Photographer’s Notes
For the record, this was taken from the summit of Mt Haleakalā on Maui in Hawaii.

I had planned the shoot around the fact that there would be no moon on the 8th of March, and weather-gods-willing; there would be clear skies. A friend that’s interested in night photography was going to go with me and I would show him the ropes. Alas, as we approached the appointed date, the weather began to deteriorate. So we moved the shoot up the 6th. In the end, the moon wasn’t a factor because it rose well after the beginning of astronomical twilight.

After dinner, I grabbed a few hours of sleep and departed about midnight for the two-hour drive to the summit. There were four in the car, not two, because at the last minute both wives decided to go. They would end up sleeping in the car while my buddy and I froze our asses off shooting stars.

We hiked about 30 minutes from where we parked to a location I had scouted a few days prior; a trail overlooking this magnificent volcanic valley looking due east … right where the Milky Way would rise in about an hour.

My buddy dinked around with his camera at the settings I suggested and was getting nothing but black. Deep black. Cold black. Devoid of stars. He’d made a few mistakes like leaving autofocus on and mistaking f/22 for f/2.8. Got him straightened out without any bruised egos and he was starting to get results.

The Milky Way rose right on schedule. The temperature was 40 degrees and humidity relatively low. Atypically, there was a very light breeze instead of 30 knot winds we’d expected. So we got some nice shots around 2:45 in the AM.

Stayed for sunrise. Breakfast at the Kula Lodge on the way down. A great night of shooting with grand results.

Post Processing
• Convert from RAW (PSCC 2015 Camera RAW)
• Straighten Horizon (PSCC 2015) Damn it!
• Dodge & Burn (PSCC 2015 Overlay Layers)
• Darken (PSCC 2015 Curves Layer – masked)
• Resize (PSCC 2015)
• Save for Web (PSCC 2015 Export)

Camera Data
• Date: 2016.03.06
• Camera: Nikon D800e
• Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 G ED
• ISO: 4000
• Aperture: f/2.8
• Shutter: 20 Seconds

Place: 6 out of 105
Avg (all users): 6.6757
Avg (commenters): 7.0000
Avg (participants): 6.6735
Avg (non-participants): 6.6800
Views since voting: 568
Views during voting: 128
Votes: 74
Comments: 8
Favorites: 1 (view)

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04/10/2016 01:21:37 AM
Congrats on the TT finish. Beautiful sky. I've shot this wonderful location, but never at night. It's on my bucket list. Given the variable weather at the top, you really were fortunate to have such a clear sky. Kudos for the final image. Well done.
04/08/2016 05:54:26 PM
Congratulations on placing TT Doc! Fantastic sky and sounds like a great time. ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Cuttooth and I drove up there last November and it was completely clouded in, so consider yourself lucky! Congrats on achieving your goal!
04/08/2016 01:37:30 PM
Hello from the Critique club

An interesting image that contributes well to the free challenge

A very accomplished image of the Milky Way in the night sky. Though I like the rugged line of the landscape I tend to agree with one of your commenters especially against such an impressive night sky. You could easily improve the shot with a panoramic crop that excludes most of the foreground thereby placing even more emphasis on the sky. You may even consider a letterbox type crop which removes the very bright star and placing all emphasis on the Milky Way itself?

Given your very respectable score and placing it obviously works well enough! Well done doc.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
04/07/2016 10:24:00 PM
Looking forward to seeing the settings / process on this one. Love the mysterious clouds? over the horizon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/07/2016 06:04:48 PM
What a clear night this must have been.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/07/2016 12:33:14 PM
I love the sky but the FG is showing up too much because it's full of artifacts and noise. Really takes away from the utterly fantastic work you did on the sky. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/07/2016 07:52:36 AM
Diamonds in the sky! Real nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/01/2016 12:22:52 PM
Those stars are amazing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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